COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – About 15% of couples in the United States are infertile. Getting pregnant can be very stressful but worrying about it doesn’t help. A new study shows a connection between stress and infertility.
If you’re worrying about getting pregnant, try and relax. A new study now backs up a theory that stress increases a woman’s risk of infertility.
“Fertility, in itself is an extremely stressful situation and that stress emotionally is an issue as well as physically.”
Researchers for the Journal Human Reproduction conducted a study on hormone levels in the saliva of women who attempted pregnancy. Those who weren’t able to conceive had higher levels in their saliva. Dr. Meredith Griffin see’s the toll stress can have on her patients all the time.
“As physicians, while we think that they’re certainly many more and probably more pressing issues that need to be explored when you’re considering patients with infertility, certainly stress is an issue,” says Griffin.
It can also lead to physical and emotional strain for couples.
“Certainly patients that are stressed out are not going to have intercourse less often, which is also very important for a patient undergoing infertility work up,” says Griffin.
Doctors say there are things women can do that can relieve tension.
“We recommend whatever helps them sort of decompress at the end of the day, so whether that be meditation or yoga or massage or exercise. whatever helps that patient let go of that stress is what we would recommend for them to try,” says Griffin.
Many times, it’s when you don’t worry, that the magic happens.
“We’ve always told patients, as soon as you stop trying, that’s when you’re going to get pregnant. So if it’s the only thing you’re thinking of and just the thought of not being able to conceive is consuming you, then it’s not going to happen. As soon as you step back, calm down and think, ‘there’s nothing wrong with me, everything’s been worked out medically,’ that’s when you’re going to get pregnant,” says Griffin.
If stress becomes a major issue researchers also suggested couples consider a stress-management program.